Quarantine: The Loners by Lex Thomas
What begins as an ordinary first day of school at McKinley High School quickly turns into a nightmare as the adults begin to die in a swift and gruesome manner. The students learn that a virus, deadly only to adults, was accidentally released, infecting them and prompting a military-enforced quarantine of the school. Among the students trapped inside are brothers David and Will. As gangs and cliques begin to form, the brothers’ strategy for survival is to lay low and remain out of sight, avoiding all gang affiliation. This works well for them until David makes the impulsive decision to come to the aid of Lucy, a girl being targeted by a particularly nasty clique. This one move proves to be dangerous and potentially deadly for David and his brother. Living conditions deteriorate, food supplies run low, and violence and danger lurk around every corner. Can David survive until his “graduation” day or will one impulsive act cost him everything?
When I first heard of this book it was titled Quaranteen. I am relieved that someone had the good sense to chance that. Intentionally misspelled words are a kind of a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, that may be the nicest thing I can say about the book. Despite my interest in the topic, I found that this was not the book for me. I love the idea of teens trapped in a school with no adults, but I could not get past the overwhelming amount of graphic and gruesome violence. In the past I have read and enjoyed a number of books that are pretty brutal and while I didn’t love all the gruesomeness, I was able to look beyond it because the story and characters were compelling. In this case, the execution of the plot and the characters do not make up for the amount of gratuitous brutality. I feel that the book suffers from flat characters, pacing issues and most frustrating, serious plot holes. Dedicated readers will need to be willing to suspend all disbelief in order to accept some of the things the authors (Lex Thomas is the pen name of the writing team of Lex Hrabe and Thomas Voorhies) would have them believe. The cliffhanger ending is not enough to compel me to continue with this series. I will stick with Michael Grant’s Gone series for all of my “trapped teens” needs.
This book was provided by NetGalley for review.